Anthony O’Leary wins Sailor of the Year award 

The outstanding performance of Cork man, Anthony O’Leary, in the 2014 Commodore’s Cup and his consistent pursuance of sailing excellence secured him and his team the celebrated 2014 ISA / Afloat Sailor of the Year Award at the 2014 Irish Sailing Awards, hosted by the Irish Sailing Association at the Royal College of Surgeons today.

In July 2014 O’Leary and team emerged overall winners of the Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup with a 174 point winning margin over 2nd place in this incredible nine team event.

The Commodore’s Cup would be considered the premier “Team Championships” for IRC racing and not an easy event to win. In addition to winning overall winner of the prestigious Commodore’s Cup with Antix, a Ker 39, they also won the award for best in the inshore series, best individual boat and the Edward Heath Cup for a European team.

Anthony also brought the coveted trophy for the 2014 ISA All Ireland Sailing Champion back to his home club, Royal Cork Yacht Club in July 2014.

O’Leary and team were winners of the Afloat Sailor of the Month in June 2014 and stood for nomination for the 2014 ISA / Afloat Sailor of the Year Award alongside 12 other sailors and sailing teams.


  • January - Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly Yacht Club after his skippering of the Irish entry in the Derry/Londonderry/Doire in the Clipper Round the World Race.
  • February - Sam Davis of Conly Island in Strangford Lough in recognition of his exceptional achievement in achieving three top Irish Cruising Club awards for his single handed voyage from Tonga, round Cape Horn and home to Ireland.
  • March - Simon Doran of Courtown Sailing Club for his intervarsity sailing for UCD.
  • April - Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern, 49er Olympic sailors for bringing home the Silver Medal from the ISAF World Championship in Hyeres.
  • May - Dickie Gomes of Strangford Lough successfully defended the Leinster Trophy for veteran and classic boats in Dublin Bay in his 102 year old 36ft yawl Ainmara.
  • June - Anthony O'Leary and team overall winners of the Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup with a 174 point winning margin
  • July - Séafra Guilfoyle of Royal Cork Yacht Club brought home a Silver Medal at the ISAF Worlds at the age of 18.
  • August - Liam Coyne & Brian Flahive of Dun Laoghaire and Wicklow, won the Two-Handed Division in the RORC SevenStar Round Britain & Ireland Race.
  • September - Hal Bleakley, in recognition of his dedication to Irish sailing and the maritime community as he retired as Race Officer for Dublin Bay Sailing Club.
  • October - Barry Hurley learnt to sail in Cork Harbour and took first in class in the tenth Rolex Middle Sea Race in extreme conditions.
  • November - Justin Slattery is a Cork man and currently on board Abu Dhabi in the Volvo Ocean Race.
  • December - Andy Johnston as Sutton Dinghy Club Commodore he led his members though an outstanding season and 75t Anniversary Celebrations. 

ISA Young Sailor of the Year 2014

Young Sailor of the Year nominees packed quite a punch and the outstanding performance of Ireland’s aspiring Olympian Finn Lynch in 2014 saw him win the title of ISA Youth Sailor of the Year.

Finn brought the Under 19 Laser Standard World Sailing Champion back to his home club of National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

This lad from Carlow and member of the ISA’s Development squad is one to watch for the future.


  • Adam D'Arcy - Topper Worlds silver medal
  • Aisling Keller - 4th under19 at U21 Worlds
  • Finn Lynch – under 19 Laser Standard World Champion
  • Séafra Guilfoyle - ISAF silver medal
  • Nicole Hemyrck - 4th 4.7 Laser Europeans
  • James McCann - 10th Optimist Europeans 
Veteran sailor Robin Knox-Johnston competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

2014 ISA Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year

The 2014 ISA Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year went to the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) for a year of incredible sailing programmes from high performance events to grass roots initiatives.

The organisers of the well-established and highly regarded Cork Week racing event, adapted entry costs and time commitment to make the event more accessible.

While the Women’s World Match Racing event demonstrated excellent organisation and show cased Ireland as a desirable World class sailing event destination.

Their members also tasted glory at junior and youth levels with Séafra Guilfoyle’s silver medal at the ISAF Youth Worlds in Portugal as one of the standout performances of Irish sailors in 2014.

At grass roots RCYC started their ISA Women on the Water Ireland with an entire week of taster sessions in different types of boats at different times of the day, to give local ladies a chance to give a try, then followed up with dedicated coaching for adults to work on their sailing skills.

Their commitment to quality and high standards is second to none and they have a special dedication to fulfilling the needs of their members from organising extra coaching for the keen young members to skippers information nights for the cruising sailors.

There were four nominations for Club of Year and it was a close call between them as each has proven to provide incredible support to Irish sailing in 2014, other nominees were Royal Irish Yacht Club, Baltimore Yacht Club and Galway Bay Sailing Club.

2014 ISA Training Centre of the Year

The 2014 ISA Training Centre of the Year went to Mayo Sailing Club for their incredible commitment to training in 2014, through the employment of Noelle Doran to run their Junior Programme and creating a fully integrated online booking system, to facilitating many ISA workshops in the region and fully embracing all the ISA participation initiatives and developed disabled sailing access with a new hoist and accessible pontoon.

After purchasing a fleet of ISA dinghies they can now offer sailing to non-boat owners. Communications, marketing and the standards shown at their centre inspection were exceptional.

It will be interesting to see what they achieve in 2015 with all this as the foundation. Other nominees were Irish National Sailing and Powerboating School in Dun Laoghaire, Gartan Outdoor Education Centre, Dungarvan Sailing Club and Baltimore Sailing Club with their second nomination for 2014.

Mitsubishi Motors, Dublin Port Company and Parasol Sun Protection sponsored the awards ceremony.


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